By Brendan Rees
An axe-wielding thief with an appetite for quality meat has smashed his way into a Pearcedale butcher shop during a late-night raid.
Rhys, the manager of Pearcedale Family Butcher, said he was gobsmacked after discovering his commercial freezer had been half-emptied on Sunday morning, 12 July.
“I don’t normally work on a Sunday but I stopped in the Sunday afternoon … to do a few things at the shop and the back lock was smashed and the freezer door was open,” he said.
An estimated $1000 worth of stock was stolen including boxes of chicken kievs, dog bones, chicken necks, pork legs, homemade pies and other pastries.
According to Rhys, who asked not to use his surname, CCTV from IGA next door captured a balaclava-clad male exiting what appeared to be a burgundy Holden Astra before smashing a padlock on the back gate of his Baxter-Tooradin Road shop about 11.30pm on Saturday 11 July.
“While he’s broken into the freezer he’s got into his car and driven off for five minutes and come back,” Rhys said.
“He’s had a few good hits with an axe and he’s eventually gotten it off,” he said of the freezer lock.
Rhys said the break-in was a set-back as his business was trying its best to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic by offering free delivery services to those in need.
He hopes anyone with information can contact police.
“It is what it is,” he said, but counted himself in that he was able to find the freezer door open the next day.
“If I had of gotten in on the Monday I would have lost the whole freezer.”
Victoria Police have confirmed they are investigating the burglary.
“It is believed an unknown male gained entry to a cool room at the Baxter-Tooradin Road business and stole a quantity of meat about 11.30pm,” a Victoria Police spokesman said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.